SHAWCO’s COVID-19 info and soap outreach

30 March 2020 | Story Helen Swingler. Read time 4 min.
SHAWCO Health&rsquo;s COVID-19 outreach in communities saw 7&nbsp;000 bars of soap and 10&nbsp;000 information pamphlets in English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans distributed before the nationwide lockdown. Photo <a href="https://www.piqsels.com/en/public-domain-photo-snkuo" target="_blank">Piqsels</a>.
SHAWCO Health’s COVID-19 outreach in communities saw 7 000 bars of soap and 10 000 information pamphlets in English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans distributed before the nationwide lockdown. Photo Piqsels.

The health division of the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) was hard at work disseminating COVID-19 information pamphlets and soap in local townships before the 21-day lockdown – with an aim to curb the rise of coronavirus infections – began at midnight on 26 March.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) student-run outreach distributed two sought-after commodities: information – in the form of health pamphlets in English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans – and soap bars. These were dispensed in communities where SHAWCO hosts health clinics.

For the past 77 years, SHAWCO has been providing primary healthcare services and a range of educational services to under-resourced communities in and around the Cape.

“Like UCT, SHAWCO clinics are currently closed [for lockdown], so the money that would have been used to run clinics was diverted to this health promotion project. This was augmented with donations from the Rotary Club and the public, specifically the Ockhuisen family,” said SHAWCO Health president Sana Salduker.

“We distributed over 10 000 pamphlets and 7 000 bars of Dettol soap and we have 3 000 bars reserved in case of outbreaks in specific areas,” said Salduker, who has been assisted by Robyn Kamau, SHAWCO Health vice-president.

 

“The aim of this was to limit any unnecessary contact between people.”

“We chose distribution sites based on the safest options available in each area, mainly public places providing ‘essential services’, such as clinics and police stations, that will be open during lockdown and that people will have to visit or walk past. We also partnered with multiple NGOs that are providing essential food services and will distribute our pamphlets and soap while carrying out their services. The aim of this was to limit any unnecessary contact between people.”

SHAWCO members were hard at work disseminating COVID-19 information pamphlets and soap in local townships before the 21-day nationwide lockdown. Photos Robyn Kamau.

The communities included were Masiphumelele, via the NGO Living Hope; SHAWCO’s clinics in Barcelona and New Rest in Gugulethu, and via two soup kitchens there; the SHAWCO Simthandile clinic in Khayelitsha, with distribution via the Meals on Wheels programme; the local clinic at Brown’s Farm; and SHAWCO clinics at Imizamo Yethu, via the local community health workers.

They also distributed soap and pamphlets at The Haven Night Shelter and the Cheshire Home for the disabled. Distribution was also extended to sites that were serviced by SHAWCO’s education outreach in Kensington and Manenberg, via community clinics, police stations and schools.

“These operations were carried out from Monday to Wednesday by the Health Steering Committee with the assistance of Cecil Constant and Cyril Pelston, both SHAWCO retirees.

The SHAWCO clinics have now gone into hibernation following the countrywide lockdown.

“Both student volunteers and community members are disappointed that clinics have been put on hold but understand that this is in the best interest of all in order to limit the spread of the virus,” said Salduker.

 

“It was important to us to maintain a presence in the communities … and do what we can to further health promotion.”

“But the communities were very appreciative of SHAWCO’s support and efforts to provide some form of protection and education about the coronavirus outbreak. It was important to us to maintain a presence in the communities we usually have clinics in and do what we can to further health promotion so that community members don’t feel abandoned during this difficult time.”

In many cases, community health workers reported that the correct information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak had not reached some communities and that large gatherings were still occurring.

“Our hope is that this health promotion project empowers communities by teaching people about the importance of isolation, as well as providing them with tools to protect themselves,” said Salduker.


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.


Coronavirus Disease 2019 updates

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March and implement a national lockdown from 26 March. The intention of these drastic measures is to “flatten the curve” and contain the spread of the coronavirus to enable healthcare workers to more effectively treat those affected. Although South Africa has recently reached a peak of COVID-19 infections, the country is expecting a surge in positive cases in August.

UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.

Campus updates

 
  •  Information
  •  Normal
  •  Caution
  •  Alert

Daily updates


Friday, 7 August 11:24, 7 August 2020
Monday, 27 July 14:00, 27 July 2020
Wednesday, 15 July 09:30, 15 July 2020
Monday, 13 July 14:25, 13 July 2020
Monday, 6 July 16:20, 6 July 2020
Thursday, 25 June 10:15, 25 June 2020
Tuesday, 23 June 12:30, 23 June 2020
Thursday, 18 June 17:35, 18 June 2020
Wednesday, 17 June 10:45, 17 June 2020
Tuesday, 2 June 12:20, 2 June 2020
Friday, 29 May 09:25, 29 May 2020
Monday, 25 May 14:00, 25 May 2020
Thursday, 21 May 12:00, 21 May 2020
Wednesday, 6 May 10:00, 6 May 2020
Tuesday, 5 May 17:05, 5 May 2020
Thursday, 30 April 17:10, 30 April 2020
Tuesday, 28 April 10:30, 28 April 2020
Friday, 24 April 09:35, 24 April 2020
Thursday, 23 April 17:00, 23 April 2020
Wednesday, 22 April 14:25, 22 April 2020
Monday, 20 April 17:45, 20 April 2020
Friday, 17 April 12:30, 17 April 2020
Thursday, 16 April 09:45, 16 April 2020
Tuesday, 14 April 11:30, 14 April 2020
Thursday, 9 April 09:00, 9 April 2020
Wednesday, 8 April 15:40, 8 April 2020
Wednesday, 1 April 15:50, 1 April 2020
Friday, 27 March 11:40, 27 March 2020
Thursday, 26 March 18:30, 26 March 2020
Tuesday, 24 March 15:40, 24 March 2020
Monday, 23 March 15:40, 23 March 2020
Friday, 20 March 16:00, 20 March 2020
Thursday, 19 March 09:15, 19 March 2020
Wednesday, 18 March 16:00, 18 March 2020
Tuesday, 17 March 12:50, 17 March 2020
Monday, 16 March 17:15, 16 March 2020

Campus communications


Upcoming UCT virtual events 09:30, 15 July 2020
Pre-paid data for UCT students 14:25, 22 April 2020
Update for postgraduate students 12:55, 20 April 2020
UCT Human Resources and COVID-19 16:05, 19 March 2020
UCT confirms second COVID-19 case 09:15, 19 March 2020
Update on UCT COVID-19 response 13:50, 11 March 2020
Update on COVID-19 17:37, 6 March 2020

Resources

Video messages from the Department of Medicine

Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19

The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.


To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.

Useful information from UCT

External resources


News and opinions


Statements and media releases


Media releases



Read more  

Statements from Government



 
 

In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”

 

We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.

 

TOP